2023 UArizona Food Safety Conference

April 11, 2024

The 2023 UArizona Food Safety Conference, hosted by the Food Safety Consortium (FSC), provided attendees an exciting hybrid conference experience, with virtual presentations and in-person career panel, networking, and poster sessions. The virtual meeting, held Oct 25th, included nearly 100 attendees from around the world to participate in a wide variety of presentations covering topics relevant to food safety research and various food industry sectors.

Since 2019, the conference has been dedicated to an individual who has provided valuable service to the Food Safety Consortium. The 2023 conference was dedicated to Dr. Jean McLain, CALES associate dean of faculty advancement. Jean served as the Food Safety Consortium Chair from November 2012 to October 2013 and was instrumental in moving the group forward after the unexpected and tragic passing of the previous Food Safety Consortium Chair, Dr. Lynn Joens, and in securing funding for the Food Safety Conference.

The in-person networking and poster sessions, along with the dedication plaque ceremony and Careers in Food Safety Panel, were held at the UArizona on October 26th. Career panelists, Dr. Joli Weiss with the Arizona Department of Health Services (on Zoom), Dr. Kadeem Hinton with PetSmart, and Dr. Duarte Diaz with UArizona Cooperative Extension, spoke about their varied paths to their current careers in food safety with moderator, Dr. Margarethe Cooper, and audience members to demonstrate to current students that there are many paths to a career in food safety.

Following the poster presentations, awards were presented to the top three student posters: Jennifer Mydosh, Kevin Dalson and Kirat Bains, each of whom received $300 prizes. Additionally, student Dustin Loso received the Dr. Dan Engeljohn Crowd Favorite award with a $100 prize. The Staff Poster award went to Dr. Victoria Obergh and included a $500 prize to use for food safety-related travel or research.

For the first time in 2023, the FSC invited UArizona graduate students to apply for research scholarships to assist with food safety-related research projects in the amount of $1,500 each. Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar had the pleasure of announcing the first cohort of grad student scholarship winners selected by the scholarship committee at the Food Safety Conference. The awardees included Richard Park (Ravishankar Lab), Luis A. Rodrigues-Medina (Ravishankar Lab), Jennifer Mydosh (K. Cooper Lab), and Kirat Bains (Ravishankar Lab). The students have one year to complete their research and will present the results at a future Food Safety Conference or seminar.

Congratulations to the 2023 poster and research scholarship award winners!

Thank you to all of the 2023 conference sponsors for making this conference possible!